On December 1, 2009, President Obama went to West Point, announced he was sending an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan – but promised it would be a temporary “surge” and he would start bringing troops home from Afghanistan in July 2011.
Last night, he delivered on that promise. Announcing the drawdown of 10,000 troops by the end of 2011, and a total drawdown of 33,000 troops – the equivalent of the Afghanistan “surge” – by the end of 2012.
It’s a good, bold move by President Obama. More than what Pentagon generals wanted. Less than what liberals were hoping for.
But I think the best you can call it is: a good first step. It’s a significant drawdown, but it’s simply not enough.
Let’s face it, the American people are sick and tired of this war in Afghanistan. It’s dragged on for ten years now. It’s costing us at least $100 billion a year in direct costs.
And what are we getting for it? Nothing. Al Qaeda has fled to Pakistan. And, after ten years, the Afghan people regard us as nothing more than trespassers and occupiers.
Bringing 33,000 troops is a good start. But the best thing we could do is bring home all American troops – by the end of next year at the latest.
That’s my parting shot for today.